Utah Wildlife Walls
“Wildlife is part of the fabric of our Utah culture, and we are hoping to explore what that means by partnering with communities across the state to highlight local species with at least one custom mural and wildlife celebration event in each of Utah’s 29 counties”.
Chris Peterson, mural artist
Utah Wildlife Walls and the Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest are a collaboration between Brett Prettyman and Utah artist Chris Peterson, in partnership with Utah Wildlife Federation and various arts, science, wildlife and engagement organizations in Utah.
It began with a 120-foot Bonneville cutthroat trout mural at the Neighborhood Hive community market in Salt Lake City. It grew to include with the installation of a baby trout tank inside the market and the First Annual Bonnie Ball Street Festival in October 2022. The success of our pilot project led us to articulate a statewide vision for Utah Wildlife Walls and our plan to celebrate Utah's wildlife.
Chris Peterson grew up in the foothills of Utah Valley’s Wasatch Mountains. He served an LDS mission in the South Bronx where his imagination was captured by street art. He studied painting at BYU and Kansas City Art Institute and spent time living in New York and Los Angeles working and painting. Graduate studies at the University of Utah earned Chris an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Administration & Environmental Policy and an M.S. in Environmental Humanities.
His organizational work across fifteen years included a decade of river advocacy work in Utah, community arts projects, rural development programs in Africa and South Asia, a charter school founding, and directing Salt Lake City's west side community center, the Sorenson Unity Center.
In 2009, Chris taught elementary art (K-6) at Dilworth Elementary in Salt Lake City, which inspired him to begin moonlighting on murals and organizing community arts projects around animals, nature and children's art. In 2017, a series of mural projects led him back into the studio to refine his painting skills and focus his art on wildlife issues. He is the principal at Chris Peterson Studio, balancing studio projects, custom murals, and creative placemaking projects.
A Utah native, Brett Prettyman has spent his life enjoying the amazing landscapes and ample wildlife of the state. He has spent his career working to educate the public about wildlife issues, spending 25 years as the outdoors/environment editor at the Salt Lake Tribune, and as communications director for Trout Unlimited.
Brett is the author of Fishing Utah, among other titles, and collected two Emmy Awards for his work with the Utah Bucket List television program. He has been a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America since 1992 and is a past president of the organization.
Brett currently serves as chair of the executive board for Reel Recovery, a national nonprofit providing free fly-fishing retreats for men with cancer. He served on the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation advisory committee. Brett lives in Salt Lake with his wife and three children.
Photo courtesy of Chris Peterson
Partners & Sponsors
National Wildlife Federation
Utah Department of Natural Resources
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Utah State Parks*
Utah Department of Community & Cultural Engagement
Utah Division of Arts and Museums
Utah Stem Action Center
Natural History Museum of Utah
The Nature Conservancy in Utah
Utah Office of Tourism*
Utah Outdoor Association
Fish for Garbage
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Utah Cutthroat Slam
Chris Peterson Studio
Spinner Fall Guides
Fishheads Fly Shop
Hansen Sisters Foundation
The Neighborhood Hive
The Gem Theater in Panguitch
Sugarhouse Community Council
Want to get involved? We'd love your help!
Our grassroots initiative is driven by collaboration and a shared passion for Utah's wildlife. We are looking for partners, educators, scientists, artists, small business owners, and volunteers in each county statewide. If you'd like to get involved, send us a note!